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Super Market Vegan – mainstream items you didn’t know were vegan

8 Aug

When I go to the super market I buy a lot of items in the natural food section (what Mike lovingly refers to as, “The Hippie Section”).

I find a lot of fine items there, but it takes me a while to become familiar with a lot of the food marketed toward vegetarians and vegans.

Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle is a lot easier when you keep some familiar food in your diet, to go along with the sometimes-alien vegan food.

The snack department is not a place were a lot of people want to think about what they’re eating, they just want it to be fast and taste good. So as you can imagine, I loved finding out that a lot of my favorite snacks are vegan. This means I can indulge in a guilty pleasure and only feel guilt about the calories and not about animal products.

Take a peek into my cupboards and see some of my favorite surprisingly vegan food.

Oreo: the guiltiest of guilty pleasures. “Milk’s favorite cook”, try everyone’s favorite cookie!

Mary Jane, my favorite candy. I was surprised when I didn’t find honey on the ingredients list.

When you want salty not sweet go for pretzels. When nothing less than super will do, a hot Super Pretzel will never let you down.

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Here’s a list of surprisingly vegan items you can find in or around you super market. For a huge list go to PETA’s article on the subject.

Ritz Crackers

Nesquick Syrup

Most Energy Drinks

Nabisco Grahams – original

Gravy Master

Many Breakfast Cereals

Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate

Reduced Fat Bisquick

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels – no butter – Cinnamon Sugar, Garlic, Jalapeno, Original, Raisin, & Sesame.

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What are your favorite foods that could be added to the list?

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If Vegan Food is Scary, Try This Bruschetta

5 Aug

For someone transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, one of the scariest things is the idea that you can’t eat any familiar favorites. For friends and family of vegans, sometimes the word vegan is scary, not to mention how terrifying the idea of actually eating a vegan dish might be. Maybe terrifying is too harsh of a term, but there is a lot of intimidation that surrounds a vegan lifestyle.

People say, “Oh my God. You don’t eat meat? What do you eat?” or “Hmm, I’ve never had a vegan meal before”. Chances are, almost all vegans thought this way before switching. An easy reply to “I’ve never had a vegan meal.” Is “sure you have, what about spaghetti and marinara sauce, or peanut butter and jelly.”

A slow introduction to vegan dishes can be a lot easier than suddenly showing up to a party with kale chips, or seaweed salad.

Here’s a familiar crowd pleaser to bring next time you’re invited to bring food to a party or a meeting. Serve this oil free bruschetta you friends and family of all ages, it’s that good! It’s to full of flavor they wont miss the cheese, and they won’t believe it’s oil free! I came up with this the other day and it was gobbled up in no time. All the ingredients were from my CSA!

Kerri’s Oil Free, Tomato and Eggplant Bruschetta:

Serves 3

1 Eggplant – I used one of the light colored, long and skinny varieties.

1 hand full of salt (trust me)

2 Large Garlic Cloves, or 3 small ones

2 Cups of Chopped Tomatoes – I used plum tomatoes, whatever’s handy

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 Large Slices of Crusty Bread – I used Panera Bread’s County Loaf.

Balsamic Vinegar to taste

Slice the eggplant into pieces about a ¼ inch thick.

To get rid of excess moisture and to avoid mushy cooked eggplant, place the eggplant slices in a single layer in a colander or on a paper towel. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant with a hand full of salt. Let the eggplant slices sit for 10 minutes with the salt. You will see the water bead up as it’s drawn out of the eggplant by the salt.

While the eggplant is sitting chop your tomatoes. I cut my plumb tomatoes into 3 or four pieces each, no uniform shapes. If you cut the veggies into non-uniform shapes, it will give your dish a rustic look and varieties of texture.

Place a garlic clove on the cutting board. With a broad knife over the garlic pound down with the palm of your hand to squish the garlic, therefore releasing it’s fragrant oils and flavor, and freeing the clove from it’s paper prison. Again, I love my food rustic so I use the garlic in this smooshed state, but if you want you can cut it up a bit too. Continue with remaining cloves.

Put tomatoes and garlic in a bowl, add salt and pepper, and mix with your hand until evenly blended.

Place tomatoes and garlic in a single layer on a baking pan and bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes until juicy and colored on the edges.

Remove from oven and place tomatoes and garlic back in the bowl.

Wash the salt off of your eggplant and pat dry. Cut sliced eggplant into ¼ inch chunks. Place eggplant in a single layer on baking pan and bake in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes until lightly brown, may flip once mid way through.

Cut slices of crusty bread in half and toast in toaster oven. Do this while the eggplant cooks.

Add cooked eggplant into the bowl with the tomatoes and garlic. Mix well.

Serve with toasted bread.

My mom suggested dressing bruschetta bites with balsamic vinegar. I put it out so people could serve themselves, and the balsamic vinegar was a big hit.

Homemade, Vegan Cinnamon Buns!

2 Aug

Guess what’s for breakfast? 🙂

Once again, thank you Happy Herbivore for the recipe!

~Kate